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  1. Short chapters and tight plotting: how Sarah Govett wants her book to appeal to struggling readers
  2. The Sarah Book, Book by Scott Mcclanahan (Paperback) |
  3. Meet the Chapters Executive Board
  4. The French Lieutenant's Woman
  5. About this item

Twenty months pass, and we discover that Mary and Sam are living in London and that Mary is expecting her second child. Currently she is strolling in a park and enjoying the early spring weather. However, she is soon surprised by the sight of Sarah Woodruff alighting from a carriage not far from her. She tells Sam of the surprising sight, and he is rather more disturbed by the news than one would think likely. His distress is at least partly due to his sense of guilt over the role he played in destroying the relationship that existed between Sarah and his former master, Charles, even though he still disapproves of Charles' actions.

This is where we find our niche

The rest of this chapter describes the young couple's life in London and their rise from the servant class. Sam is now a successful employee at Mr. Freeman's haberdashery and is gaining the experience which he hopes someday to use in establishing his own business.

Short chapters and tight plotting: how Sarah Govett wants her book to appeal to struggling readers

Although Sam has accepted his good fortune with equanimity, Mary is still amazed by the fact that she is married to a man who is so successful that she can even afford to hire a young girl to be their maid, a job she herself had only a short time before. Charles travels throughout Europe and the Mediterranean countries, but he is affected little by his experiences. He keeps a journal of the daily events of his travels, but expresses his actual feelings only in poetry which he shows to no one. Fowles quotes the entirety of Matthew Arnold's poem "To Marguerite" as expressing some of Charles' feelings about his isolation and loneliness better than Charles himself could.

However, Charles eventually begins to feel that perhaps the Sarah whom he longs for never really existed except as an ideal, that perhaps the real woman did not match the image he created and has carried with him all these months. Although he does not despair of ever finding her again, somehow the need to find her becomes less urgent. After meeting a charming pair of Americans, an elderly man and his nephew, Charles decides to visit America. His view of himself as a rebel and outcast no doubt contribute to his desire to visit America, a country so unlike and yet so like his home.

In this chapter, Fowles raises the question of why Charles does not completely give in to despair over his loss and disgrace and perhaps commit suicide. But he answers his own question with the suggestion that Charles has found some comfort in the knowledge that he is an outcast and thus different from others of his kind.

Then, too, when he encounters young couples on his travels, he cannot say that he feels envy for them, but only relief that he did not give in to convention and consummate a matter that was false. This is small comfort, in the face of his loss, but apparently it sustains him for the time. In Chapter 59, Fowles describes Charles' travels in America.

We get a very brief glimpse of the United States of this period as compared to England. Here, while the influence of England is strong, it is tempered by the different problems faced by the struggling country that was still recovering from the devastation of the Civil War. Charles is impressed by the vitality of the country and the openness of its people, but he swiftly books the first passage to Europe when Montague sends a cable that Sarah Woodruff has been located in London.

After some twenty months of separation, she still has a powerful effect on him. In Chapter 60, we read the first of two possible endings to the story. In this version, Sarah is found residing in London under the name of Mrs. Charles believes her to be employed as a governess for a family, but it turns out that she is an assistant and an artist's model for Mr. Rossetti, a well-known artist whose work is considered somewhat shocking by many Victorians.

The Sarah Book, Book by Scott Mcclanahan (Paperback) |

In spite of Montague's advice, Charles goes to see Sarah. He is surprised to find that she does not need someone to rescue her from penury or immorality, for his greatest fear was that he would find her living a miserable existence as an underpaid governess, or even worse, as a prostitute.

However, his expectations are contradicted by the confident, well-dressed young woman Sarah has become. We quickly perceive the contrast between Sarah's world of new trends and ideas and Ernestina's world, in which old values still hold sway, even when they are questioned. Charles finds himself caught between them; he finds Sarah's new life rather uncomfortably bohemian for his tastes, yet he cannot help admiring her strength and freedom, qualities he admired in the Americans whom he recently met.

Sarah is not to be won easily though.

Chapter 9 - The Nervous System

She refuses to marry Charles, and when he asks her why, she obliquely states that she simply wishes not to marry, something, she says, he will never understand. Her life, as it is, is pleasant and is all that she wants. Charles is stunned when she admits that she saw his advertisements inquiring about her and that she moved and changed her name because of them.

He is ready to leave, despairing that she ever loved him when she begs him to stay long enough to meet someone, a "lady" who will explain her motives to him.

He is puzzled but waits. Sarah leaves, and shortly another young woman enters and places a child on the floor.

Meet the Chapters Executive Board

Charles asks her where the "lady" is, and she points at the child. Book City is in the heart of Toronto's beautiful Bloor West Village neighborhood and that's where I settled into the children's section to talk blame, beauty, and growth with my favorite bookseller in the world -- the one and only Sarah Ramsey theprintednerd. As we always say: Humans are the best algorithm. Listen in to hear us touch on themes of beauty, loss, and honoring ones we love What memoir helped invent the category -- and have we "over-memoired" ourselves?

Book City Toronto.

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The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Candide by Voltaire. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens. Spike Jonze.